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On May Day 2013, the fight for a $15 "Livable Wage" is coming to Oakland. New York City led the way with two walkouts by low-wage workers in the fast-food industry, the first in November 2012, and the second on April 4, 2013. In November, about 200 New York fast-food workers at 30 stores went on strike for a $15 hourly wage. Then nearly 400 workers walked out. Next up was Chicago on April 24, 2013. Hundreds of fast food and retail employees in Chicago began a mass walkout, calling for the city’s minimum wage to be raised to $15 an hour. Now it's Oakland's turn. Organized by the Livable Wage Assembly, an outgrowth of Occupy Oakland's Labor Solidarity Committee (the group which organized the December 12, 2011 shutdown of the Port of Oakland), their first action is a rally at Oscar Grant Plaza and noise demonstration through the streets of Oakland at 5pm on May 1
to raise awareness of the campaign. Organizers hope to enable the struggle of low-wage workers to challenge their bosses for a livable wage. The City of Oakland's minimum wage is just $8.00/hr, the same as California's, making life difficult for many as housing costs continue to rise. The noise demo will focus on companies like McDonalds, Walgreens, Rite-Aid, Taco Bell and a host of other chains in the downtown area. The noise march in Oakland follows a Sin Fronteras march from Fruitvale BART station earlier in the day.
Immigrant rights and labor actions will be taking place in many Bay Area and Northern California cities on May Day including San Francisco, San Jose, Salinas, Watsonville, and Santa Cruz. On May 3, protests continue at the La Playa hotel in Carmel.
Marchers Speak Out For Justice
Anti-Capitalist March and Occupations
, 12pm |
LaborFest Screening of "Dreamwork China" At ILWU Local 34
May Day march for immigrant rights
Oakland Sin Fronteras Fruitvale march and rally
, 3pm |
Autonomous/Anarchist People of Color Contingent
, 3pm |
May Day: Fight for $15!
March for Immigrant Rights
May Day March - International Workers' Day
May Day march for Immigrant Rights
May Day Rally for Immigration Reform
May Day Rally for Immigration Reform
Rallying for Immigration Reform on May Day in Santa Cruz
May Day Rally for Immigration Reform
May Day: The Fight for $15 Comes to Oakland |
Call to improve wages and working conditions for restaurant workers! |
May Day (May 3rd) Rally at La Playa Carmel |
Previous Related Indybay Features:
Nationwide May Day General Strike Looms Large Locally with Diverse Actions Across Bay Area |
May Day in Santa Cruz: Creating an Ongoing Network of Solidarity
On March 23
, the San Jose Black Berets por la Justicia organized a walk through the city of San Jose, in unity and prayer for the love of the community. The walk began at Lincoln High School, site of the first Barrios Unidos conference, with a sunrise ceremony.
The Walk for Peace is a spiritual peace walk continuing the Black Berets' four directions ceremonies, and there were four stops/ceremonies in San Jose. The first was at juvenile hall, then on to Backdesto Park, Plata Arroyo Park, with the final ceremony being held at Mexican Heritage Plaza. The events are organized twice a year, and the idea is to walk in a good way to honor, and hopefully bring some peace, to those that have died through colonization and all of the resulting traumas that afflict the community, including gang violence, alcoholism, violence against women, and more.
"We believe in the power of the people to create positive and lasting change. This is why we call for unity and dialog against violence across all nationalities and cultures," The Black Berets said in a press release for the walk.
Supporters of the Idle No More movement participated in a round dance during the final day of the Azteca Mexica New Year Ceremony and Celebration on March 17 at Emma Prusch Park in San Jose. "We have been using these round dances to call attention to our Earth, and to call for fighting the corporations, fighting our government, and to protect this Earth as indigenous people," Lakota Harden said to the group before the round dance began.
The theme of this year's Azteca Mexica New Year Celebration was Ce Calli, or "One House". Organizers of the Idle No More round dance noted in their event announcement that, "The Prophecy of the 'Eagle and Condor' is only becoming stronger."
"There is another way. We have lived another way for thousands of years, in harmony with our Mother Earth and all living things, and we do not need to destroy them to survive," speaker Paul Flores said before the round dance began.
Read More with Photos and Videos |
Idle No More
As he begins his 37th year of wrongful imprisonment, Native American leader and activist Leonard Peltier will be honored on Tuesday, June 26th
with singing and drumming on Ohlone land at Theodore Lenzen Park in San Jose. Community members will discuss what can be done to secure Peltier's release from prison.
Drumming and singing will be provided by Wicapiluta (Luta) Candelaria, with other Black Berets, and will be followed by updates about Peltier, calls to action, a potluck, and then a screening of "Warrior: The Life of Leonard Peltier," a film by Suzie Baer.
The event is sponsored by the Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee (LPDOC)
chapter of Silicon Valley and endorsed by the Black Berets por la Justicia (San Jose, CA).
Read More Event Details
See Also: Incident at Oglala (1992)
|| Solidarity Statement for Mumia from Leonard Peltier
|| Sep. 2008 Update
|| Attack on Leonard Peltier Protested at SF Federal Building
|| July 2009 Update
|| Artwork by Leonard Peltier
|| Radio Interview With Susan Morales
|| Audio from 2011 Rally in Tacoma, WA
The first recorded Father's Day commemoration was in remembrance of a mining disaster that brought attention to the plight of working people and unsafe working conditions across the US, when hundreds of fathers died in a mine in West Virginia in 1908. With the holiday's origins in mind, members of the San Jose and Redwood City Occupy groups performed mic check demonstrations at branches of various corporate entities on the San Francisco Peninsula that have a record of anti-labor practices.
Protests that began on the plaza at San Jose City Hall on October 2nd continue around the clock. The San Jose Police Department has issued many arrests and citations in the middle of the night, mostly for illegal camping. After the first raid on October 21st, when 8 people were arrested and one cited, protesters returned to City Hall to rebuild camp immediately upon their release from jail.
On October 24th, a protester climbed atop a wall estimated to be 36 feet high and five feet wide to protest the continuing police raids. As of November 16th he remains on his perch, despite rain and cold..
On October 25th a contingent of occupiers attended the San Jose City Council meeting and presented a letter demanding that the rights of the occupiers be respected by police. They called on City Manager Debra Figone to retract false accusations that the protesters have conducted themselves in an uncivil manner.
Photos: 1 |
| Occupy San Jose
In San Francisco, members of UNITE HERE Local 2 and their supporters in the labor movement marched on Labor Day, September 5th, to draw attention to Local 2's ongoing struggle with the Hyatt Regency and Grand Hyatt. The march began at Union Square and proceeded to Hotel Frank on Geary, then on to the Grand Hyatt on Stockton Street. Local labor turned out in solidarity with UNITE HERE Local 2's struggle to obtain a fair contract with Hyatt. Some of the many unions that came were The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), The Teamsters, The American Federation of Teachers, and the Labor Studies program at S.F. State University.
Similarly in Santa Clara, hotel service workers of the union UNITE HERE Local 19 marked Labor Day by picketing the Hyatt Regency Santa Clara, which has been the target of a boycott campaign launched by the union six months ago. Hyatt workers, who have been without a contract with the hotel, have been demanding recognition of the union through a card-check/neutrality agreement.
Demonstrations have been held at circuses in the Bay Area and Central Valley since 1988. Animal liberation activists have had to fight in the courts after wrongful arrests outside of circus venues while they were educating those who would patronize the circuses and documenting the treatment of elephants and other circus animals. The numbers of protesters at local circuses have grown over the years, with nearly 300 demonstrating at the Oakland Arena last year.
On August 17th, opening night of the 2011 Ringling Brothers Circus in San Jose, nearly a hundred activists gathered to protest and to inform circus-goers about the cruelty involved when wild animals are forced to live in small cages and perform for audiences across the country. Ringling Brothers has a history of maltreating the animals under its care, from physically abusing them as part of their training to failing to adequately meet basic medical needs. At least one human family was seen rethinking their decision to attend the circus and left shortly after having received educational materials from demonstrators. Thousands of handbills and pamphlets were distributed, giving attendees a lot to think about before they ever possibly return to the circus.
Animal activists encourage others to help keep the heat on Ringling and its parent company, Feld Entertainment, to drop the use of animals in their live shows. Demonstrations are planned for Ringling Brothers appearances in San Francisco and Oakland from September 1st through 11th
. Ringling Bros will be stopping in Sacramento later in the month.
Photos & SF/Oakland Schedule |
Previous Related Indybay Features from 2005:
Bay Area Protests Against Ringling Bros Circus |
Fresno Animal Activists Defy Arrests/Intimidation
The Silicon Valley Independent Living Center (SLIC) drew people from up and down the West Coast to its second annual Disability Parade and Festival in San José on July 23rd. Several hundred parade participants walked and rolled down N. First St. on Saturday morning, many with signs decrying proposed government budget cuts to social services.
In the afternoon bellydancers, breakdancers, and inspirational speakers enchanted the audience. Festival attendees wore purple t-shirts with the slogan "Disabled and Proud".
SLIC has offices in both San José and Gilroy. The non-profit group provides clients with referral services for care, and works to improve the laws, policies, and regulations that affect the day-to-day lives of people with disabilities. With Congress debating cuts to Social Security and Medicare benefits, the fate of Medicaid was on everyone's minds at the festival. SLIC organizers said that cuts to Medicaid will only shift costs to states and transfer the burden to people with disabilities and seniors who depend on the program for long-term services and supports.
Photos: 1 | 2 | Video | Silicon Valley Independent Living Center
Three San José Council Members and Mayor Chuck Reed are pushing for a bill that would strip city workers of benefits and take away their collective bargaining rights. Activists say the proposed bill is similar to the attacks on workers' rights that were recently rammed through Wisconsin’s legislature by an anti-labor governor. On June 23rd, they rallied in front of City Hall.
Labor supporters speaking from a podium said that attempts to declare a fiscal emergency in order to resolve the city's budget problems is misguided at best, and the mayor's fiscal plan would allow the city to renege on its promise to pay specific benefits to city employees. They pointed out at that federal and state labor law cases have consistently held that these changes cannot be made unless it is done through collective bargaining. Protesters called for an end to the City's union-busting tactics with speeches, chants and songs.
South Bay Labor Council
Around the world, workers united on May 1st for International Workers' Day — with marches and rallies. Across Northern California — from Berkeley to San Francisco, from Fresno to Sacramento — thousands of workers and supporters stood up for immigrant and labor rights on May Day 2011. Code Pink and others began an eight-day march from San Francisco to Sacramento to demand a just budget in California.
Stop Smart Meters! and allies held a protest in Mountain View on April 14th as Julius Genachowski, Chair of the Federal Communications Commission, spoke about the need to increase wireless capacity, ignoring those who suffer ill health from "electrosmog" throughout the U.S. Several passers-by stopped and joined the demonstration. Activists smuggled a Stop Smart Meters! banner inside the talk and just when they thought everyone in the audience was about to go to sleep, they stirred things up with a classic banner drop disruption.
Elizabeth Gonzalez is the subject of the tenth profile in this series by Indybay contributor Peter M. Gonzalez is a veteran of the innovative magazine and community service organization called Silicon Valley Debug. She now works with New America Media as a marketer to Spanish-speaking communities, promoting health and social welfare. Peter and she met because of a photo he took of her at a demonstration in 2006. She talks about changes she has been through since the picture was taken.
"Gonzalez was one of the crew that launched Debug early in the Silicon Valley 'boom.' It started for her when she found employment for a summer on an assembly line making modems. The hours at the job were long—it seemed to her she would just work and sleep and go back to work. 'All I had to do was press a button all day long,' she said, 'it just sucked the whole life out of you.' The supervisors talked down to the workers, who were mostly Latin American and Asian, threatening to send them back to their home countries if they didn’t shape up, she said. Because they were temporary workers, hired from agencies, they could be let go at the drop of a hat."
Read Full Story and View Photo | Previous Chapters
On Monday, April 4th, the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s assassination, local coalitions participated in nationwide actions to support Wisconsin workers, public services and the middle class. Organizers of the rally at the Santa Cruz County Government Center stated, "Dr. King was killed in Memphis, TN, where he had stood with sanitation workers who were struggling for the right to bargain collectively. The actions by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker to eliminate collective bargaining – and the gradual eroding of the American middle class - only undermine that struggle."
Narus, a company with Israeli connections now owned by Boeing, calls itself the global leader in real-time traffic intelligence for the protection and management of large IP networks. On February 2nd, internet freedom activists sponsored a demonstration in front of Narus' headquarters in Sunnyvale. The protesters said that the Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) technology made by Narus is helping Egypt's leaders monitor the activities of Egyptian dissidents.
Narus freely admits that they sold technology to monitor internet and mobile phone traffic to Telecom Egypt, the state-run communication system. On its website the Sunnyvale company says that, "with Narus, service providers, governments and large enterprises around the world can immediately detect, analyze, mitigate and target any unwanted, unwarranted or malicious traffic. Narus solutions provide its customers with complete, real-time insight into all of their IP traffic from the network to the applications, enabling customers to take the most appropriate actions quickly."
The Raging Grannies and San Jose Peace and Justice Center, co-sponsors of the demonstration in front of Narus, said that in Egypt "appropriate actions" meant brutal repercussions against protesters. Narus was founded by Israeli security experts in 1997 and bought by Boeing last year.
Photos: 1 |
Article: One US Company's Role in Egypt's Brutal Crackdown |
English Al Jazeera: US company 'helped' Egypt block web
| Save the Internet
7PM Friday May 24
Film: Not My Life
3:30PM Sunday May 26